Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.
National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Dana Loesch on ABC’s This Week falsely claimed that, the NRA “created” the current gun background check system and whitewashed the NRA’s role inhibiting the national background check system.
Discussing the Parkland, FL, shooting with ABC host George Stephanopolous, Loesch recycled the NRA lie that the organization “created” the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In reality, the NRA fiercely opposed the 1993 Brady background check bill, which created NICS, and continued to lobby against it after its passage. Loesch also misled about Printz v. United States, an NRA-supported lawsuit that strongly inhibited NICS after the Supreme Court ruled for the NRA’s position. From the February 25 edition of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS (HOST): Almost all Americans believe that background checks for all gun purchases make a huge difference. Recent poll from Quinnipiac. Ninety-seven percent of Americans support that. The NRA opposes it. We’ve seen all these NRA members I just cited and are now calling —
DANA LOESCH: Well, and I want to point out the question for that poll, by the way, was do you support background checks if it prevents those who are dangerous and terrorists et cetera from getting firearms and I think —
STEPHANOPOLOUS: So you think they just don’t work?
LOESCH: I think everybody supports background checks. And I want to point out that it was the NRA that created the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] system.
As it stands right now, only 38 states are reporting less than 80 percent of these convictions to the NICS system. That’s huge.
STEPHANOPOLOUS: And Dana, you know perfectly well the reason states aren’t mandated to go through that system is because of a lawsuit the NRA filed.
LOESCH: That’s actually a grotesque misunderstanding. I’m sorry to say that in Printz vs. the United States — that’s what you’re talking about — that case that you’re specifically referring to, George, actually was a case where the federal government was trying to force states to implement and administer a federal program at the state level. However, that case that you’re citing, the one that the NRA contributed an amicus brief to, says that that case did not do anything to stop states from reporting dangerous people who have been criminally convicted to the federal government.
STEPHANOPOLOUS: Dana, as you know, the NRA has consistently sought to defund the background checks system, has fought against the background checks system. But I just want to ask a broader —
LOESCH: That’s not true, George. That’s not true. That’s not true. We created the NICS system, and we’re the ones for over 25 years who have been saying that these states need to report these dangerous [people].